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« S'il y a la moindre chance d'en apprendre plus sur l'agonie de la terre, fonce. »

  1. I understand that the word "en" can be used to replace a "de ..." expression, but I fail to see what the "en" in this sentence refers to. Is it about "apprendre de ..." or "apprendre plus de ..."?

    Considering that the phrase "apprendre plus sur ..." means "learn more about ...", I cannot see why the "en" is necessary here.

  2. Does the word "plus" here simply mean "(learn) more (about)"?

  3. I understand that the verb "foncer" can be used to mean "dash/bolt", but in this particular context, does the word have a totally different meaning?
  • 'en' is an adverbial pronoun in this case. – Mason H. Hatfield Jan 24 '16 at 1:30
  • <off topic>Unless there is a hidden/personal meaning, what about changing your alias to the less eye hurting "pourrait peut-être"?</off topic> – jlliagre Jan 25 '16 at 17:14
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  1. d'en apprendre plus means d'apprendre plus de choses, thus en means choses and more precisely here, pieces of information. That's the " 2. a), fourth ♦ " meaning in the cnrtl EN2 pronoun entry:

    Le déterminant est un quantificateur qui précise une partie par rapport au tout que l'antécédent est supposé représenter.

  2. yes

  3. fonce means a strong go ahead.

  • Merci. I wonder if the same goes for the following sentence: « Je n’en attendais pas moins de vous. » = « Je n’attendais pas moins de choses de vous. » I’m hoping to find out why the word "en" needs to replace the phrase "de choses" in these sentences. The sentence structure of the former is not easy to wrap my head around. – pourrait Peut-être Jan 24 '16 at 5:03
  • Yes, that's the same construction with en attendre moins, answer updated with a link. – jlliagre Jan 24 '16 at 9:18
  • This type of en, attached to a verb, stands for de complements in general: il y a des feuilles => il y en a ; il connait la fin du livre => il en connait la fin ; il vient de Paris => il en vient. – GAM PUB Jan 24 '16 at 10:51
  • @GAMPUB Merci. Regarding the phrase "il y a des (de+les) feuilles" in your comment, even when the de refers to "some" rather than a preposition "from/of", do French speakers usually replace de with en? – pourrait Peut-être Jan 25 '16 at 0:14
  • Yes, it works with indefinite and partitive noun phrases too: il a mangé des pommes => il en a mangé ; il a mangé du gâteau => il en a mangé. – GAM PUB Jan 25 '16 at 16:18

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